Last night, your dad and I had a date night. We don’t get away very often because it requires two babysitters (you guys are a wonderful handful). We talked about many things. Of course, we talked about you.
We want to understand and love you in the best ways that we possible can. That sounds like a simple statement, and it is but it is also a lot of work to be any good at it.
So Fleet, I want you to know that we are so proud of you. You teacher told us that you are a leader in the class. She said that there are many kids who are younger than you, who look up to you and ask for help and guidance. Being a leader is a big responsibility. If you choose to continue to lead in your life, I know that you will bring much to the lives of others. You are thoughtful, considerate and most importantly, strong. Leaders have to be strong because leaders do the right thing even when it’s hard and unpopular. This doesn’t mean that you won’t feel weak or defeated at times, you most certainly will. But I hope that you will always pick yourself up and keep going. And remember where you came from. The people in these four walls will always have your back.
Lukilicious, boy, you’ve got the mind of a true dreamer. I watch you playing football by yourself in the backyard or talking to yourself in the mirror in the bathroom or playing cars for hours and I want a little of that imagination for myself. Hold tight. Big dreamers do big things. I love watching the pride you have in your work and the love you have for your siblings. The squeakiest wheel gets the oil around here and you are not the squeakiest wheel. But I see you. I see you comfort your siblings when they fall. I see you invite Elle to come play. I see you reach out and hug your baby brother when he toddles by. I see you admiring Fleet while being perfectly comfortable on your own. I see you. And I always will.
My little Elle Belle, your smile will LIGHT. UP. A. ROOM. You have the quirkiest, most contagious good humor of anyone in our house. I don’t know another girl who is as strong as you with so much potential to be kind and happy. Sometimes, as your mama, you are so strong and determined that I don’t know what to do. Your independence and spirit challenge my limited parenting and life experience. But baby girl, we can do this together. We can grow into the people we are meant to be, without sacrificing what makes us who we truly are. I am strong enough on my own, I don’t need you to be weak so that our dynamic works. In fact, I don’t need you to be anything other than exactly who you are. So, just do that for me, okay?
Charlie Mac. I am just getting to know you. You bring incredible joy to my life. I cannot believe the absolute blessing that you are to all of us. Everyday, you will grow more and more into a unique person. This lucky lady gets to have a front row seat to that. I promise that I will always do my best to help you discover that person, love yourself and share your gifts with the world.
This will not be perfect. I will not be perfect. You will not be perfect. Tony Robbins says that perfection is the absolute lowest goal you can set for yourself because it is unachievable.
So loves, lets try for happy and forgiving and unrelenting in our love for one another.
(P.S. That picture at the top feels a little like perfection to me.)